I had 2 hand reared lorries and one suddenly got sick and died ,she was the dominent one of the 2,the other one seems so lonely out in the big avery on its own ,should i get it another mate,as it calls out for the wild ones and gets very excited when they come down and feed off the ground.I feel its so lonely and needs a companion ,what do you suggest.

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Aug 25, 2010
by: Linda

Hi and thanks for writing. First, take the remaining bird to an Avian Vet in your driving area for a full examination to be tested for both bacterial and viral infection. These infections are extremely contageous, and two birds living together and eating and drinking from the same dishes will usually have the same infections. Have the Avian Vet do a throat swab to check for bacterial infections, and some general bloodwork is in order as well like a CBC, possibly kidney, liver, thyroid and parathyroid function tests if Avian Vet thinks they are warranted. Some viruses show up in the blood work as well.

Something killed the other bird, so before bringing in a new bird, take the remaining bird to Avian Vet, and take the new bird to Avian Vet BEFORE bringing it home because a lot of birds contract infections when being moved to new homes because of the stress. A lot of pet store birds come in sick from breeders, and infect every other bird they are caged with while awaiting sale. All new birds need to be examined by Avian Vets within the first week or it is best if they are examined before ever entering their new home especially if one has other birds.

Clean the aviary thoroughly with a bird safe cleaner, and Tracie carries that here. The perches, toys, dishes, walls, wire and floors have to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed. Do not use bleach as this is a caustic and if any is missed during rinsing will burn birds feet or poison them if ingested. Remove the bird while this deep cleaning is going on as even non-toxic cleaners should not be used inside a cage with birds present. This thorough cleaning has to be done to rid cage of possible pathogens left behind by the bird you lost.

Once all this is done, yes, your bird needs another companion. Birds mate for life, and the loss of a mate can lead to major grieving including stopping eating and drinking. Go ahead and get the work done, your bird to Avian Vet, and the new bird to the Avian Vet also, then you'll be all ready for a new friend for your lonely little bird.

I'm very sorry for your loss, and it is a good idea to have necropsies done on birds to see what, exactly, caused their deaths. Sometimes it's organ failure and not infection, so the practice of Necropsy on the freshly dead can help you to know what happened and not have to wonder and worry so much. Necropsies need to be done as soon as possible because time has a way of ridding the body of some toxins and evidence of infections.

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